By Mr. Electric on 22/08/2017

Ever wonder how the kilowatts that power your killer HDTV arrive on-scene? Every day, homeowners nationwide take advantage of the grid’s power prowess – without giving much thought as to the complicated distribution network that is the electric grid.

Who’s on first? The power plant

The first of the three large, interconnected systems that comprise the electric grid, generating electricity is the name of the game for the power plant, whether it's wind, water, coal or gas-fired or nuclear. A constant supply is key to keeping up with demand – lest a blackout or brownout occur. 

What’s on second? Transmission lines

Carrying electricity long distances, tall, towering behemoths called high voltage transmission lines ferret power away from the plant, carrying it long distances to where it is needed. Though an efficient and inexpensive way to transport power, however, they do not make for a safe mode of delivery for areas homes and businesses.

The monkey in the middle: Transformers

Transformers step-up voltage for transmission – then step it down again once it reaches neighbourhood distribution lines. They are also used to step it down once more before it enters your home. Think of transformers as sort of the monkey in the middle of each distribution checkpoint.

Sliding home… Distribution lines

After transformers pare-down voltage, power is more safely distributed and delivered through neighbourhood distribution lines. (Though it is paired-down yet again by a hanging transformer before it enters your home.)

Who gets it?

You. Though the electrical service to your home or business may be delivered via a different circuit of the grid than your neighbours…. Explaining why, maddeningly, every time there is a storm your home or business loses power – but your neighbours don't. Think of it kind of like the electrical system in your house: When you trip a breaker with your hair dryer, power stays on in the kitchen. The same concept applies to the grid system and the neighbourhood(s) each circuit of the grid serve.

Called out at home?

If you’re experiencing frequent dimming of the lights in your home – it may not be the electric grid system, it may be your service. Though 60 amps of electricity pumping into your home was enough in the past, today’s homes and businesses typically require 100-200 amp service to provide enough power to successfully operate the glut of large and technologically advanced appliances simultaneously in-use. If you’re experiencing frequent electricity ‘hiccups,’ contact Mr. Electric for an electrical safety and wiring inspection today.